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7 Jackets That Every Man Should Know

Looking for a new jacket? I show you 7 staple jackets that every man should consider owning...
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A jacket is a staple in any mans wardrobe, but what one should you choose?

With a vast array of options from the classic leather jacket to the formal sports jacket choosing the right jacket can get intimidating.

Therefore in this post I’m going to highlight 7 styles of jacket that will compliment any man’s wardrobe.

Versatility & Quality

Before I dive in to the 7 jackets it’s important to know what makes a worthy investment.

With a jacket often playing the statement piece of an outfit (the top layer) versatility is important. Sure a paisley print Harrington jacket looks cool on the hanger but how many outfits can you wear it with?

Going for something more understated, something more classic and timeless will give you more opportunities to wear it and really get the most out of your investment.

Focusing on quality over quantity is a style principle every man should abide by. Menswear is truly all about investments and you should never neglect quality when buying a jacket.

Investing in a well made jacket (material, construction, fit) will not only last longer but will also look better. For example saving money on a leather jacket by buying a ‘pleather’ jacket will look cheap and will realistically mean it won’t last long.

Before investing in one of the jackets below ask yourself this question…

“What can I wear this with and how well is it made?”

The Leather Jacket

Starting with the ‘Daddy’ of jackets the leather jacket is a real menswear staple. In my honest opinion nothing adds more masculinity to an outfit than a decent leather jacket.

If you’ve never owned or worn a leather jacket before go for one with minimal detailing. Going for a biker jacket with distressing, zips and different fastenings could look like you’re trying too hard.

With the leather jacket it’s all about looking cool effortlessly.

Out of the 7 jackets recommended here in this article this is definitely the one where you’ll need to shift some of your budget. Don’t skimp and go for cheap leather or fake leather as it will honestly look… cheap.

Treat it as an investment as a good leather jacket will give you years (if not decades) of wears.

how to wear the leather jacket

The Harrington Jacket

A personal favourite of mine the Harrington jacket really bridges the gap between formal wear and casual wear.

This jacket was really the go to for style icons such as James Dean and Steve McQueen alongside being a staple piece within the Mod culture.

As with any jacket recommended here today it’s important to focus on the quality of the Harrington jacket alongside choosing a colour that’s versatile. Keep the colour simple but pay attention to the finer details.

harrington jacketharrington jacket navy

The Suede Jacket

This jacket is sure to create more of a statement than the others recommended in this article but this isn’t something to shy away from.

Suede is luxurious, it looks classy and it can really add elegance to any outfit. You want to try and avoid old-school suede jackets and go for something with more of a modern twist, opt for a jacket that’s more slim fitting and plain in colour.

A suede jacket can come in many forms, from a suede bomber to a suede worker jacket so don’t write off this classic if you’ve seen or worn one you didn’t like.

Focus more on earthy tones (brown, tan, taupe) which will make the jacket easily wearable with other classic colours and patterns.

As with the leather jacket you don’t want to skimp back on suede, buying a cheap looking suede jacket may have a negative effect on your overall style. Invest wisely as a good suede jacket can be the perfect long term companion in any mans wardrobe.

suede jacketsuede jacket paul

The Bomber Jacket

If you’re looking for something with more of a casual edge opt for the Bomber jacket.

With heritage from the armed forces the bomber jacket is another timeless jacket that has passed the test of time.

The Bomber really has a ‘cool’ element around it and it can easily be dressed up or dressed down. Remember how cool Ryan Gosling looked in Drive? That was mostly down to his Bomber jacket.

Don’t be afraid to opt for colour and print with the bomber jacket as it’s also something that can be layered (underneath an overcoat).

The bomber jacket is here to stay and it truly is a worthwhile, timeless investment. Without fail this jacket is a worthy addition to any modern wardrobe.

bomber jacket mensbomber jacket river island

The Field Jacket

The field jacket is often appreciated by men but never worn. It’s something we see, we think it looks cool but when we go to buy one we simply can’t make it work.

This is definitely the hardest jacket to pull off as getting it wrong can leave you looking like a fisherman rather than a stylish man.

With a vast array of colours and fabrications to choose from it may be daunting at first, but keeping it classic avoiding brighter colours and more modern fabrications will simplify your choice.

Khaki is the obvious choice but grey and even navy are also versatile and neutral options.

field jacket mens

Fit is also important as you don’t want the field jacket to swamp your frame, but opting for something a little more relaxed to your other jackets will allow you to layer and treat it like an overcoat.

Dress it down with a t-shirt and jeans, layer it up with knitwear and a shirt and don’t be afraid to dress it up, wearing it with the classic suit and tie.

field jacket navy

The Sports Jacket/Blazer

If I’m wearing a button-down shirt with denim jeans the look is going to edge towards the casual spectrum, but the simple addition of a sports jacket/blazer will all of a sudden make the outfit look more formal.

This really is a must have in any mans wardrobe and it’s important to not overlook just how versatile this jacket is.

A two button jacket is an obvious choice but don’t be afraid to go for a jacket that makes a subtle statement through the finer details (wide lapels, fastenings, subtle pattern and pockets).

Although investing in a well made sports jacket/blazer will last you longer with this one you can go high street, just pay attention to the fabric and fit.

Focus on the fit when choosing a sports jacket/blazer and don’t be afraid of using a tailor to apply alterations.

sports jacket men

The Denim Jacket

Another casual alternative the denim jacket is a real staple that’s stood the test of time.

Play it safe with darker denim and keep the distressing to a minimum as the more classic the jacket the more versatile it’s going to be.

The cropped waist on a denim jacket will instantly make your waist look narrower and pairing it with a simple sweater or white t-shirt is a simple combination that oozes ‘cool’.

Afraid you can’t wear it with your go-to denim jeans? Contrast the washes (light denim with dark denim) and you’ll be fine.

mens denim jacket dark denim jacket

Choose Your Jacket…

So there we have it, 7 jackets every man should know.

This really isn’t me saying ‘buy every jacket in this article’ but you should at least consider investing in a few to get the most out of your wardrobe.

For me I invested in a few jackets through the Style Reinvention series and it’s upgraded my style massively.

Let me know what jacket you prefer in the comments below and don’t forget to share this article if you think it will help someone.

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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.

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